Festival of New Trumpet Music

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The Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT Music) supports new trumpet music in all forms, and provides a platform for emerging artists and creative pioneers. FONT Music is a nonprofit organization founded by Dave Douglas. The executive board is made up of co-founder Dave Douglas, Vice President Stephanie Richards and Secretary Aaron Shragge. In addition to promoting new works and artists, the Festival aims to promote opportunity, encourage diversity, and enable community for and among trumpet players and those with whom they work.

The Festival’s work is centered on the production of a two- to three-week festival of concerts and workshops held annually in New York City in September, as well as off-season and satellite events, and collaborative artist services. FONT also gives its Award of Recognition to a distinguished trumpet player who has made an important contribution to the instrument.

Through programming and educational events, FONT Music strives towards three main goals:

• Celebrating and promoting the diversity of contemporary music related to the trumpet by presenting the broadest possible idea of what a trumpet player can do.

• Confronting and challenging traditional boundaries of gender, race, and culture in the music field by presenting the broadest possible idea of who a trumpet player can be.

• Supporting emerging artists and creative pioneers through concerts, commissions, and other opportunities.


The first Festival of New Trumpet Music took place at the downtown music venue Tonic in August 2003 and presented 40 performances featuring trumpeters representing the worlds of jazz, new music, free form, hip hop, rock, improvisational, and classical.

The following year the festival expanded to include other venues such as the New York Bahá'í Center (where Mike Longo holds Jazz sessions in honor of Dizzy Gillespie), The 14th Street Y, and Makor. The second festival featured the trumpeter/composer Bill Dixon, as well as performances by the 22-member "Trumpet Nation" led by Butch Morris.

The third annual FONT Music, held in August 2005, featured a week-long celebration of Lester Bowie at the Jazz Standard and an expansion of educational and performance opportunities for students and emerging artists alike. In addition, Jon Nelson joined Dave Douglas and Roy Campbell, Jr. as co-directors of the festival and oversaw the creation of an advisory board.

The fifth annual Festival of New Trumpet Music began on September 15, 2007 and continued every day until September 30, with performances at venues throughout New York City including: the Manhattan School of Music, Jazz Standard, Blue Note, Cornelia St. Cafe, Tea Lounge, St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, and Barbes, among others.

FONT Music 2007 featured the following artists: Ralph Alessi, Jeremy Pelt, Anthony Braxton, John McNeil, the Taylor Haskins Experiment, Macroquarktet, Robert Erickson, the Matt Lavelle Spiritual Power Trio, Jason Palmer, Kirk Knuffke, Cecil Bridgewater, the Kenny Wollesen Big Band, Huang Ruo, Jason Price, and others.

In 2008, the Festival of New Trumpet Music included a celebration of Wadada Leo Smith, Woody Shaw, and Louis Armstrong, and performances by Jeremy Pelt, Ralph Alessi, Mark Isham, Avishai Cohen, Amir ElSaffar, Lewis Barnes, John McNeill, Nabaté Isles, Frank London, Ingrid Jensen, and others. This festival also displayed many FONT Commissions including works by Chris DiMeglia, Nabaté Isles, and Reut Regev and the Brassix Ensemble.

The seventh annual FONT Music Festival in 2009 featured performances at the Jazz Standard and Cornelia St Cafe, lessons with Laurie Frink, and a workshop with John McNeill. There were performances by Ambrose Akinmusire, Jeremy Pelt, Eddie Henderson, James Zollar, Bobby Bradford, Greg Bobulinski, Josh Berman, Leron Thomas, Nadje Noordhuis, Jordan McLean, RJ Avallone, Thomas Heberer, and Russ Johnson.

FONT Music 2010 included performances in the lower east side and in Brooklyn – in both October and January. The following artists were featured in October: Brad Mason, Nick Roseboro, Josh Deutsch, Ben Syverson, Lina Allemano, Matt Lavelle, Kirk Knuffke, and Brad Henkel. In January, FONT celebrated the live and career of Wilmer Wise with both a performance and a workshop. Several trumpet ensembles and workshops in Abelton Live and group improvisation also took place.

The ninth annual Festival of New Trumpet Music in 2011 celebrated Kenny Wheeler and Bill Dixon. It featured performances by Ingrid Jensen + brass, John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Kenny Wheeler New York Quintet, Stephanie Richards’ WATERcolor, Jonathan Finlayson, Tomasz Stanko, and others. FONT Music 2012 was the tenth anniversary festival and featured a month long of concerts in various locations throughout September. Performances occurred at the Jazz Gallery, Smalls Jazz Club, Rockwood Music Hall and other locations. Artists included West Point Jazz Knights, Claudio Roditi, Charles Tolliver, Jack Walrath, No BS Brass Band, Alicia Rau, John Raymond, David Weiss, Natsuki Tamura, Josh Deutsch, Tilt Brass, Adam O’Farrill, Douglas Detrick, and others.

In 2013, The Festival of New Trumpet Music presented Music for Small, Medium and Massive: Premieres, Fanfares and Remembrance from September 10th to October 2nd. This festival included many premieres and commissions including a 52 trumpet piece and more. Artists include Christian Wolff, Roy Cambell Jr, John Zorn, Butch Morris, Chad McCullough, Laura Kahle, David Smith, Matt Holman, Miki Horose, and others.

The 2014 Festival of New Trumpet Music featured over 15 performances and workshops in September at the Smoke Jazz and Supper Club, Village Zendo, Cornelia St Café, Mannes, New School, St Peter’s Church, Littlefield, Ibeam, and Rockwood Music Hall. The festival included workshops and demonstrations by Blast of Brass and Jesse Neuman, Josh Landress, and a panel discussion on Brass Music in the 21st century. FONT Music awarded Raymond Mase with the Award of Recognition for his career and work with the American Brass Quintet. Performances included appearances by the American Brass Quintet, Practical Trumpet Society, New School Alumni Trumpet Round Robin, Banda de los Muertos, FONT’s own Afro-Brass Assembly, No BS Brass Band, Shane Endsley, Eric Biondo, Graham Haynes, Igmar Thomas, Carlos Abadie, Tim Hagans, Aaron Shragge, and more.

Festival Artists[edit]

External links[edit]